Finnish Rhapsody — James Flegel


6 Minutes
Total Pages: 34
Score: 17
Parts: 15
Performance Notes: 1
Title: 1

Sample Middle Section

Sample Ending Theme Section



This guitar orchestra piece was written to appeal to younger guitarists (ages 8-14), and to give them an exciting ensemble experience.  It was written in four parts, but is intended for a large ensemble.  This single-movement work features large, cinematic energy, with clear contrasts and clear musical momentum.  The piece opens, and closes with mysterious, swirling chromatic clouds and moves to a very romantic – almost folk-like – theme, which is played by every part at different points in the piece.  The middle section is a flamenco-inspired dance, with exotic harmonies and scales, along with strumming and percussive effects.

The players’ ears are challenged with more dissonant passages than they’ll find in typical student repertoire.  Dynamics are an essential element of the musical expression and drama.  Players are introduced to some extended techniques: Bartok pizzicato (‘snapping’ the strings), golpe (tapping the body of the guitar), hand-claps, and some rasgueado (strumming).

The parts are not difficult, though chromatic.  Higher positions used, as are some bars and easy ligados (left-hand “pull-offs”).  The chord shapes and finger combinations are mostly very simple and common, and there are no large stretches.

The parts and the score are fingered, but not exhaustively, leaving room for choice, but providing guidance.  Measures are numbered and rehearsal points are labeled for ease of practice/rehearsal, and to clarify structural points.  The piece was composed, scored, and ‘engraved’ to put a successful performance of an exciting orchestral experience into the hands of young guitarists.